These Shining Lives
Approximate running time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
3 Victoria Street
St. John's NL A1C 3V2
Catherine is starting a new job. She's nervous, but excited too about earning her own money, which will help supplement her husband Tom's construction job as they raise their two young children. At work, she meets Frances, Charlotte and Pearl—coworkers who will quickly become close friends. But there is more to the job Catherine loves than she realizes. Her job is to paint watch and clock dials with paint that contains radium. These Shining Lives revolves around the real-life circumstances of women in the 1920s who worked in a watch factory painting watch faces with glowing radium-rich paint. While the characters and company in These Shining Lives are fictitious, the story of the Radium Girls and the toxic and deadly levels of radium poisoning of over 4,000 factory workers is true. The real-life Radium Girls took their company to court and achieved a long-lasting victory over corporations with poor workplace conditions and worker’s compensation that is still in effect today.